The Taste Of Brambles

Thorn-pricks and pin-points and
electric on the tongue,
the rushed spurt of blood
from soft places,
the change of moisture –
acid to base
(like wind shifting north to south,
no change in composition
but it feels like leaving home)
and the thought that
you can’t keep this where it lays, certainly
won’t be able to mash and chop and chew and
swallow down these brambles, no,
but they’re lodged too deep to spit away, no,
and nobody wants to be seen
spilling their brambles out to polite company.

farm kid

I wake before the cock crows
the palest promise of dawn,
spread the feed in gentle throws,
out ‘cross the chickens’ lawn.
And now to the cabbage rows,
loathsome, lousy with thistle.
in everything a bramble grows –
for fat you must have gristle –
and taking up my draw-hoe,
smooth-grained from the handling
my thoughts return to trails I know,
the brambles in my ambling.